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Auntie Anne’s Forms Charitable Partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
September 21, 2011
LANCASTER, Pa. (September 21, 2011) – As countless children across the U.S. continue their fight with childhood cancer, Auntie Anne’s is doing its part to help raise badly-needed funds for research, prevention and treatment. Auntie Anne’s, the 1,130 store franchise best known for its freshly baked, hand-rolled pretzels, announced a new charitable partnership with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) at its worldwide franchise partner convention during events on September 20, 2011.
To jumpstart its support of the U.S. pediatric cancer charity, Auntie Anne’s presented a $25,000 check to ALSF in honor of the store manager and franchise partner determined in a pretzel rolling contest as the fastest Auntie Anne’s pretzel rollers in the world. Sixty-eight store managers and 18 franchise partners participated in the separate competitions in an effort to win $1,000 and bragging rights amongst their peers. Jackie Neal, a store manager from New Jersey won the first competition for rolling 42 pretzels in 2 minutes and 24 seconds. Tobin Hickman, a franchise partner from Texas, won the additional contest for rolling 42 pretzels in 2 minutes and 53 seconds. Tobin and his wife Blanca donated their $1,000 prize to ALSF.
The decision to name ALSF as the national charitable partner of Auntie Anne’s came after franchise partners and corporate associates went through a collaborative and comprehensive process to determine a beneficiary that best resonated with the brand, guests, and the franchise system. ALSF was determined as the perfect fit.
“From coast to coast, our franchise partners are passionate about our new charitable partner and eager to make an immediate, substantial impact,” said Bill Dunn, president and COO of Auntie Anne’s. “While cancer knows no age, race or class, hearing a child’s touching story struck a major chord with everyone in our system, and we felt that it was imperative to collaborate on this common cause.”
Founded in 2005, ALSF’s mission is to raise money and awareness for the causes and cures of childhood cancers. When Alex “Alexandra” Scott, who was diagnosed with cancer just before her first birthday, was four, she opened a lemonade stand in her front yard to raise money for a cure. While Scott ultimately lost her life to cancer in 2004, her legacy has since lived on through the foundation bearing her name.
Despite boasting a new beneficiary, the brand is no stranger to philanthropic partnerships. Since March 2010, Auntie Anne’s has contributed an excess of 2.3 million pretzel products to the world’s largest prepared-food donation program, the Food Donation Connection. Franchise owners have also helped to raise $4 million for the Children’s Miracle Network and in 2010, Auntie Anne’s formed a national charitable partnership with First Book to help deliver nearly 50,000 books to children in need through Title 1 schools, Head Start Programs, pre-and-after school literacy programs, etc.
“Giving back to the communities where we work and play is one of our critical values, and we take a great deal of pride in our partnership,” said Dunn. “We look forward to a long, lasting partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.”
ABOUT AUNTIE ANNE’S
An award-winning franchise system, Auntie Anne's is consistently ranked number one in the category of hand-rolled soft pretzels by Entrepreneur's Franchise 500, has received the World-Class Franchise® honor (the most prestigious award in franchising) for the past five years, and "Best in Food Category" for Franchise Business Review's 2009 and 2010 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards. The foundations of Auntie Anne's success lie in the collaborative partnership between the franchisor and franchisees and a targeted growth strategy focused on the best locations and partners. Auntie Anne's continues to look for qualified partners from around the world to grow with the company. Specifically, executives with the company are looking for entrepreneurs to open Auntie Anne’s franchises in a variety of target markets including Paducah, KY, Ridgeland, MS, Lakewood, CA, Sierra Vista, AZ, Taylor, MI, Farmington, NM, and St. Paul, MN. For more information, visit www.auntieannesfranchising.com.